Friday, December 30, 2016

#1. Debating the Republican Disconnect from Earth's realities

It’s been awhile since I had a good online debate and I welcome the opportunity provided by a commenter to What's Up With Republican disconnect from planet Earth?.  I’ll use my generic ‘Dude’ since I don’t feel comfortable using his real name, no offense intended.  I myself found his comment offensive in it’s devious mischief and it seemed a careful dissection of his rhetorical game is called for.  I hope some may find it a learning experience.  Update, I've received an email from E.M. who requested I refer to him by his initials.  He also offered a four thousand word response that I want to read through before posting it, it'll probably be Saturday night or Sunday before I'll be able to do get it posted.  (12/30/16. 10PM). > It has been posted at #3 E.M. has his say. Debating the Republican Disconnect from Earth's realities.
E.M., I don’t believe you are the innocent you pretend to be.  If you were that naive you wouldn’t be commenting on AWG over here!  That doesn’t mean we can’t continue a constructive dialogue, I just want you to know where we stand.  

You have provided me another excellent vehicle to examine the subtle dishonest rhetorical game that the Republican PR machine broadcasts through thousands of astro-turfed mouthpieces.  It brings me back to what this blog was all about before the 11/8/16 catastrophe and I thank you for that opportunity.  

E.M.:  Morning, 
Glad we can have this discussion, and I appreciate your timely response. I am not here to to argue the existence of the human-contribution to climate change; this is an unarguable topic and it is widely accepted on both sides of the debate. 
Nonsense!  The right wing media machine is saturated with people denying the fundamentals of AGW.  Just need to google it, or try YouTube for hundreds of real zingers.  {This deception is the first “tell” that we are dealing with a disingenuous individual.}

You say you don't want to argue about the existence of the human-contribution to climate change and then proceed to do just that in a wishy-washy way.  What gives?  
E.M.:  Honestly, I think both sides of the AWG debate are self-interested and self-serving. 
Why do you think the scientific community has been self-serving?  
Please offer some examples.
I’m curious have you listened to any climate scientist lectures, such as UCTV Perspectives on Ocean Sciences (

On one side we have scientists who have dedicated themselves to understanding how our planet operates and doing so as accurately as possible.  They are reporting on what their instruments and evidence is telling them.

On the other side we have a small group of right-wing politically motivated outlier scientists, supported by a “think tanks” network which was created by some very wealthy, and oil drenched special interests and their bought Republican (and libertarian) politicians.  

These “think tanks” are goal driven, and they churn out lots of very dishonest stuff.  (see:

If you review this blog’s index you’ll find I’ve documented what I say numerous times.
E.M.:  Neither side has any willingness to have a healthy debate on the topic. 
What do you base that belief on?  

Aren’t you aware of the decades worth of lively scientific debate and evidence gathering before scientists started making their unequivocal statements?  

What about EXXON who’s scientist’s extensive studies on AGW came to the same conclusions as the main stream scientific community did.  But, EXXON buried all that and instead went on a deception-based PR spree.  Broadcasting fundamental lies and gross misrepresentations of what climate scientists were actually reporting on, all intent of fostering the type of confusion that you are demonstrating with your misinformed commentary.  Not to mention the dirty tricks.
E.M.:  I am certainly not a trained climate-scientist, so I have to rely on what the professionals tell me. 
Sad thing is I don’t believe you rely on real experts.  I believe from the way you’re framing your argument, that you get all your news from within the Republican news feed and a narrow circle of outlier scientists who have made themselves irrelevant to the real science going on. 
E.M.:  However, it is far from true that we know all we can know about climate change, its long-term effects, and our role in its prevention. 
Sentences like that are so fundamentally dishonest its ridiculous but such are the tactics that have squandered precious time we don’t have to waste. 
{Another “tell” that we are dealing with a disingenuous individual.}

Dude, name one serious scientist who says we know all we can about manmade global warming and the climate changes it drives, or the full extent of long-term effects?  We do know an awful lot.  What we don’t know is about fringe details that are of no-count to the fundamental reality of what we are doing to our Earth and today’s life supporting biosphere.

Oh and we certainly do know what our role in its prevention would need to be.  Drastically reducing the amount of Greenhouse Gases we inject into our atmosphere.  It really is that simple!
E.M.:  You do understand the difference between a theory and an observable fact, correct (flat Earth vs AWG is not a fair comparison)? 
Either you didn’t have the curious to go and read Issac Asimov’s essay, or it went right over your head.  Try it again.  Hint, the essay is about the refinement of fact based understanding.
E.M.:  I would simply like both sides to be less quick to the trigger. You speak about "rational constructive adult dialogue", but you immediately dismiss your opponents views as "self-serving faith giving them license to lie". 
Well I’m sorry but I have the evidence of repeated and gross lying about the scientific facts, not to mention the malicious misrepresentation that’s been committed by Republican “think tanks” and PR fronts.

If you look at this blog you’ll see plenty of very specific critiques, were I offer objective supporting evidence for my claims.  I know what I’m talking about and ignoring my critiques doesn’t make their substance go away.

Oh and no immediate about it!  I’ve been studying Anthropogenic Global Warming and the public dialogue since the early 1970s.  I’ve been trying to have a serious debate with a AGW contrarian since the 90s and Roger Cohen’s dishonest lectures at our local college. {Correction, late 2000s, Alston Chase's syndicated column in the Durango Herald in the late 80s via Letters to the Editor- fyi}  What I get instead is big up front claims.  When I respond I get to watch my responses sidestepped with a descent into silliness that totally avoids the points I’ve presented, then with parting insults they disappear back into their self-certain echo-chamber. 

That’s by way of explaining why I’m not coddling and all nicie-nicie anymore.  Sorry if it hurts your feelings. 
E.M.:  Not only is this generalization lacking in any actual substance, it is self-serving in itself and an avoidance of further discussion. 
Bull shit, have you even read through any of my critiques?  Why not start with Mr. Landscapes and Cycles, the infamous lying Jim Steele and my documented dismantling of his nonsense.  You’ll find the specifics upon which I base my “generalizations.”

Why avoidance?  I’ve issued a bold invitation for a rational substance based constructive debate regarding climate science and the way the Republicans have maliciously misrepresented and lied about the facts.

We don’t need to like each other to have a constructive honest debate.
E.M.:  I'm not sure what your background is that makes you such an "expert", but anyone with any scientific training knows that dismissing the opposition is a dangerous practice. 
I’ve never claimed to be an expert, but I have been paying attention since the early 70s.  I’m a spectator, an enthusiast, which is why I add so many links back to original sources, so folks can learn for themselves.

Dude, It’s not about “dismissing the opposition” it’s about exposing base deception and malicious lies.
E.M.:  There are certainly questions to be asked about the current status-quo of climate-science, their observations, and their predictions. 
Like what?
Can you share the important ones?
What questions do you think need asking?
Remember Isaac Asimov’s essay Relativity of Wrong?
Why do you not think informed experts have been asking themselves these questions long before you dreamed of them?

Dude, I wonder if you know that scientists understand the fundamental reality of today’s global warming to an exquisite degree of accuracy.  

That fundamental fact is that greenhouse gases in our atmosphere slow down the escape of heat into space.  The more GHGs the more heat is retained and scientists know how much to an amazingly exquisite degree of accuracy.  Why do I know that with certainty, well look around at all the modern marvels that would be utterly impossible, if scientists were fudging.

I’ve put together a list, check it out, “CO2 Science - Why We Can Be Sure.

Then you need to understand the difference between that certainty and the difficulty of measuring where and how all that heat is moving within our complex global heat and moisture distribution engine.

I myself believe it’s criminal for focus on the latter, while ignoring the former.
E.M.:  Many predictions made in the main-stream climate community have failed to materialize; 
You are confusing yourself, the mainstream media is not the “climate community!”

Do you understand the difference between scientific projections issued within the scientific literature - and news reporters stories about that science??  
That is important.  Don’t you think?

Dude, I ask because I’d like to invite you to share these “failed predictions” of yours - but I would expect you to stick with actual scientific papers.

Then we can look at those “failed predictions” and see what the failures are and what we can learn from them.  How about it?  You made the claims.  Can you support them with objective evidence?

Well heck on second thought, never mind, lets see your sources - provide whatever climate predictions you’d like.   We can take it from there.
E.M.:  at the same time climate-research/program funding has increased nearly 500%; 
Why is that a problem for you?  

Don’t you think it is important for people to learn as much as we can about our Earth, its biosphere and climate system?  

Satellites and Earth sciences are expensive, no?  Why do you think that money should not be getting spent?  Please explain how that rationale works.  Where would you divert that money to?
E.M.:  adjustments have been made to historical temperature data; etc. 
Right, and adjustments are made to economic data people rely on everyday too.
Don’t you appreciate that science is about striving for ever more accurate data, using ever more sophisticated instruments and processing methods?  Checking and cross checking always knowing that mistakes are possible and need to get ferreted out.  What’s wrong with that? 

How would any science move forward if refinements and corrections can’t be applied?  It sounds downright insane.  But that’s where your line of logic goes.

Ever look at how these adjustments are presented?  I mean every adjustment made is thoroughly described, its reasons, the math behind those changes, all that stuff is described in detail.

So here again, please explain what is wrong with scientists adjusting data?

Incidentally, from how you craft your sentences it seems to me you might possess a fundamental distrust of scientists?  Is that true?  If so, where does that come from?  

Why can't you accept the simple logic that scientists are too focused on getting everything right to play stupid games that are sure to come out on the cross checking?
E.M.:  This is not a sealed discussion as you would like to have everyone think.
Why do you think I want a “sealed discussion”?
Please explain. 
Look at this blog, its all about trying to pursue serious discussion!

What I do want is a good-faith, fact-based discussion, one where people honestly represent their opponents, their evidence and what they have to say.  A discussion focused on constructive learning from the evidence at hand.  With a better more complete understanding being everyone’s goal.  

That includes correcting me, sure I have my bias, but I also have my self-skepticism, I’m up for surprises and being forced to reconsider standing assumptions, but you have to come up with the goods.

A dialogue where first you bring serious evidence.  Then you start making insinuations implying scientific dishonesty, based on your evidence, not your bias!

Unfortunately to date the Republican way is ass backward, with the serious evidence never showing up.  For instance Dude, can you explain to me why Dr. Mann is so passionately vilified?  I’d love to figure that one out.

I agree nothing is “sealed,” learning is nonstop and I’m willing to debate the details as you can see at my Landscapes and Cycles collection.
You came over here.  What is it that you are defending???

Dude, are you up to backing up your vague insinuations with substance?

If you like, I’ll post your serious response as it’s own unaltered stand alone guest-post, I’ll save all my responses to my own follow up post.  No tricks.  I’d like to hear what you think and go another round.

 (send me an email: Citizenschallenge at gmail)

A Climate Minute - Climate Science History

The history of climate science: Human caused (anthropogenic) global warming (AGW) began in 1824 when the greenhouse effect was discovered through the 1950's, when the US military confirmed that the basic physics were sound when they were examining the upper atmosphere to understand better ballistic missile flight. Written & narrated by John P. Reisman. Reviewed by Spencer Weart (American Institute of Physics, Ret.); written & narrated by John P. Reisman

What drives scientists? - Richard Alley's Golden Nugget

What Exxon Knew

YaleClimateConnections | Published on Dec 8, 2015

Newly released documents show that scientists at Exxon Oil Corporation conducted research on climate change and the greenhouse effect in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Their conclusions were in accord with mainstream scientific groups in academia, NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Energy, showing that global warming posed a serious problem, with potential "catastrophic effects."

Read the Inside Climate series here

Read the Los Angeles Times reporting here:

Read the letter from Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll to Exxon:

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